It all started out of my desperation to inspire my teen son to do his homework, without a battle. That journey led me to creating my own 5 ways to use Humor as Incentive for Homework, which I wrote about for a Mashable post. The post shares my tips – along with a very surprising use of the song “Gangnam Style” by Psy (satire of the Gangham district of South Korea which is compared to Beverly Hills in LA).
My journey also took to Kimberley Clayton Blaine (TheGoToMom), who is a Therapist. Her video called - “Be A Funny Family: Why Kids Need Laughter” taught me that laughter is key for positive parenting:
Having access to watch this video (and others like it) was a good way to arm me with ideas for using humor.
My humor post at Mashable also mentioned tips I learned from Mary Kay Morrison, an independent consultant who works in the field of humor studies and brain health has a book: Using Humor to Maximize Learning and Using Humor to Maximize Living. and website: Quest For Humor. Here are more details from Mary Kay Morrison about using humor for homework:
- “Create positive communication between parent and child before homework time by telling riddles, or funny stories as a practice before beginning. Make it a point to engage in mutual laughter as part of the homework routine.
Create a homework environment of fun. Movement is critical for learning, so encourage frequent movement. Let the child sit on a yoga ball, give them a squishy ball to use when stressed, or a tennis ball bouncing break every so often. A great break is a laughter break. Laughter yoga is a great way to relax and get oxygen flowing to the brain. Just stand take deep breaths and laugh.”
- “Set a timer with a reasonable amount of time allowed to complete the work. Let the child know that at the end of this period there will be a surprise. Examples of the surprise would depend on the age of the child, but can include time together reading a joke book. I avoid food as a reward, except on rare occasions, making sure the snack is healthy.”
- “Be creative. For younger kids, give the child a flashlight, darken the room and have her spell the words on the ceiling with the flashlight. For older kids, do math homework while riding bikes together.”
- “Have fun with assignments. Without telling them, put sticky notes with quotes, jokes or “I love you” notes inside the book or chapter that they need to read. Use a “hunt for the cards” idea for rote math practice like multiplication. Find weird places in your house and place the flash cards there.”
Do you use humor as an incentive for your kids to do homework – or humor in other ways? I always love learning new ways to bring (age appropriate) humor into our family. Beyond Family Guy – which makes my boys laugh – but as the Common Sense Media site says — Family Guy is rated for 14 and above!.